Mauna Kea

So right now I’m in the Subaru telescope’s huge and fancy suv car thing on the way up to the telescope. Even though I’ve lived here for eleven years already, this will be my first time inside the actual telescope. Saddle road is really bumpy….
Okay, so were at Hale Pohaku, the visitor’s center right now. Actually, we’re on our way down already. So I guess I’ll start my actual entry here while everyone’s sleeping.
First, we took our lunch break at the staff resting area, where the workers eat or sleep before going up to the very top.  People going up have to rest for a minimum or thirty minutes to get used to the altitude. Joe and Andy played pool in the lounge while I just sat and talked with our guide. We took off again at about two o’clock.
At the summit, we were given a short safety lecture, and our guide taught us how to breathe properly up at the summit. Deeeeeeeep breaths.  It really helped since the oxygen level is about 60% compared to down at sea level.  Okay, so I said I was writing in the car at Hale Pohaku… This is where I stopped since I got a little headache x) so I’m continuing this a week later at home haha.

So some quick facts about Mauna Kea… so Mauna Kea  stands 4205 m (13796 ft) from sea level, and has 13 telescopes standing on its peak.  So the telescope we visited was Subaru telescope, the telescope built by the Japanese.  The outside has a unique cylindrical shape, unlike the other spherical ones.  The telescope itself is a pretty blue ^^

So continuing off to where I left off… after the safety lecture at the summit, we were given an hour~hour half tour of the facility.  First our guide showed us the telescope itself, then she took us to this self er…moving robot.  (ESL moment… x_x)  To my surprise, there was a picture of a girl… to be specific, that main character(?) girl from Evangelion.  Apparently the artist came and autographed… the robot… .__. Well, I guess Japanese astronomers are regular otaku people in disguise? x)  So after that, she took us down to the basement where they had various tools and goods that needed organizing stored… not very interesting.   After a little while of looking around the basement, we heard over the PA that the telescope was going to move, so climbed up again.  To all of our surprise, the telescope moved REALLY slowly, and really quietly.  And that was the end of our tour pretty much.  To wrap it up, we signed the visitor’s book, found our friend’s page back in 2010, and climbed into the car and fell asleep.

And it goes right back to the beginning where I woke up at Hale Pohaku.  Hope you found my boring post even just a bit interesting.


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